Local children flocked to Applebee’s in Oneonta on Saturday to have breakfast with an ogre, a princess and other characters from the Kingdom of Far Away.
Shrek, Princess Fiona and other characters from Orpheus Theatre’s upcoming performance of “Shrek: The Musical” met fans and families at the restaurant in Southside Mall during a benefit for the theater.
“We have had a great time so far,” said Tom Pondolfino, who was costumed and made-up in green face paint as the title character. “Some of the kids have come in costume, and I have been asked a few times to sign autographs.”
Cast and crew members joined members of the Orpheus board to serve and seat guests during a pancake breakfast. And while some children may have been star-struck to see their favorite characters in person, others there were already on a first-name basis with the stars.
“I play a dwarf, and I am in the children’s ensemble,” said Megan Hughes, 11, who was at the Applebee’s fundraiser Saturday with several of her friends.
Joey Bertram, 10, was with Hughes at the pancake breakfast Saturday. She too is part of the children’s ensemble.
“I really like the dance,” Bertram said. “It is a lot of fun.”
Stephanie Rudloff, 10, was with the same group of friends who ate breakfast at Applebee’s Saturday.
“We get to sing, ‘It’s a Big, Bright, Beautiful World,’” Rudloff said. “It is a great song. It is so much fun to be a part of this.”
Joining Pondolfino and the children were Fiona, played by Sarah Lynn Serafin; Donkey, played by Matt Jahnke; and Lord Farquaad, played by Casey Thomas.
“I like Princess Fiona,” said Rylee Willsey, 8, of Otego, who waiting in line Saturday to have her picture taken with the red-haired royal.